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What Is The Impact Of Showing Empathy In Nursing Practice?

902 words - 4 pages

Studies have suggested that empathetic nursing may positively affect the quality of nursing care, contributing to improved positive outcomes, in regards to the health and wellbeing of patients in need. (Hojat, 2007), (Mercer & Reynolds, 2002) (Raudonis, 1993). In contrast, Slaby (2014) believes that empathy has a ‘blind spot’ of imposing only the personal perspectives and life experiences of that nurse onto the patient, this therefore may lead to assumptions which could prove demeaning and incorrect. Raudonis (1993) perspective differs to Slabys philosophy, by noting in his qualitative study of 14 terminally ill patients (in a hospice environment), that empathic care resulted in better pain ...view middle of the document...

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What is the impact of showing empathy in nursing practice?
Many, if not the majority of patients in hospital care experience physical discomfort and emotional distress, and this can manifest itself in emotional outbursts. (Herbette & Rime, 2004). Nurses may positively impact situations such as these by exhibiting an empathetic and professional approach (Balzer-Riley, 2000) and (ANOTHER QUOTE). This may influence; enhanced communication, and greater trust with patients, resulting in improved treatment planning that greater benefits patient care. (Bruns & Frewer, 2011)(ANOTHER QUOTE). However, According to Lombardo and Eyre (2011) this positive impact comes at a price, namely compassion fatigue in nursing staff, triggered by an over emotional attachment to patient experiences, resulting in a nurses ‘burn out’. (DISPROVING QUOTE) Deshpande and Joseph (2009) has an agreeing viewpoint, stipulated in a quantitative questionnaire survey with 104 hospital workers, throughout the United States, findings showed that enhanced levels of empathetic intelligence and ethical behaviour, mainly influenced a nurses ability to perform well under pressure and cope with workplace stressor’s. This further influencing the workplace environment by creating better camaraderie and improved staff welfare as well producing more favourable patient care relationships. Unfortunately, Deshpande and Joseph, 2009 did not literate the statistical findings of this study, only the overall opinion of findings, leaving an unclear evaluation. Furthermore, human nature may have inhibited the participants from admitting to unethical behaviour, as the results were mailed to residencies and answering was unsupervised. Overall, research findings, presented some unmeasurable results surveys such as this one along with other literature (Balzer-Riley, 2000), (Bruns & Frewer, 2011) Provide valid evidence in proving that empathy within...

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